Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, stunned colleagues on Friday by announcing he would retire to take a job as a talk radio host, just days after proposing an ambitious overhaul of the nation’s electronic surveillance programs.
“I had a career before politics and always planned to have one after,” Mr. Rogers, a Republican, said in a written statement. “The genius of our institutions is they are not dependent on the individual temporary occupants privileged to serve. That is why I have decided not to seek re-election to Congress in 2014.”
Mr. Rogers, in his seventh term, will join 19 Democrats and 21 other Republicans leaving the House before the 114th Congress next year. Members of the Intelligence Committee said they were taken completely by surprise. On Monday, Mr. Rogers led a lengthy meeting with members on the National Security Agency overhaul that he and Representative C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the panel’s ranking Democrat, unveiled this week. He gave no indication that he would be leaving.
He did, however, inform the House ethics committee in January that he had begun negotiating with Cumulus Media that month, according to documents released Friday by his office. He also gave advance notice to Speaker John A. Boehner.
“Maybe that’s what happens when you hang around with N.S.A. and C.I.A. and all these covert people,” said Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez of Illinois, a Democrat on the Intelligence Committee who had no inkling of the retirement. “You learn to keep secrets.”
Senior Republican aides said that from his new perch on talk radio Mr. Rogers had the rare chance to earn considerable amounts of money and maintain the high profile he had sought and achieved on national security matters.